Virus

FRANKFORT (KT) — A total of 2,162 new cases of the coronavirus were reported to Kentucky public health officials on Saturday making it the highest number for a Saturday since the start of the pandemic.

The state’s positivity rate also rose on Saturday to 7.17% from Friday’s 6.77%, making it the highest rate in Kentucky since May 5.  The total number of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky has now risen to 119,661.

The 10 counties with the highest number of new cases on Saturday include Jefferson with 324, Fayette 206, Warren 77, Hardin 68, Kenton 65, Campbell 62, Boone 60, Hopkins 59, Daviess 46 and Christian with 45.

“Since March 6, when COVID-19 was first reported in Kentucky, we have not had this many new cases reported on a Saturday, and sadly we are also reporting 17 more deaths,”  Beshear said. “As Kentuckians, we need to come together right now. We need everyone wearing a mask, following the red zone recommendations and other guidance, like limiting travel and social distancing, so that we can stop this alarming escalation of cases.”

The latest deaths include a 66-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man from Barren County; a 93-year-old woman from Knott County; a 76-year-old man from Breathitt County; an 80-year-old man and an 81-year-old woman from Lee County; a 75-year-old man, a 63-year-old man, a 59-year-old man and an 86-year-old woman from Jefferson County; a 70-year-old man from Livingston County; a 68-year-old man from Daviess County; an 85-year-old man from Graves County; an 81-year-old woman and a 82-year-old man from Grayson County; a 76-year-old man from Warren County; and an 85-year-old man from Jessamine County.

Saturday’s 17 deaths bring to 1,561 the number of Kentuckians lost to COVID-19.

The number of Kentuckians hospitalized on Saturday stands at 1,129, down from 1,153 on Friday.  Of them, 289 were on a ventilator, ten fewer than Friday.  However, 149 were on a ventilator, up from the 129 reported on Friday.

“We have been witnessing an escalation in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, patients in the ICU and on ventilators statewide over the past few weeks and it is an alarming and deeply concerning situation,” said State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.

He added, “Now is a critical time for Kentuckians to work together to defeat this virus by following the recommendations meant to slow and limit new cases: socially distance, wear masks and practice good hand hygiene.  We are all in this together, and we can only stop further spread of the virus by working together.”

On Saturday, the governor also issued a statement, regarding the election victory by fellow Democrat Joe Biden.

“Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” Beshear said.  “We will work with the incoming administration, as we have the current White House, to improve lives and opportunities for every Kentuckian.  Now, the election is over, and it is time to come together as Americans and as Kentuckians.  We are in the fight of our lifetime against COVID-19 and we must unite to battle this virus that has killed 235,000 Americans, including more than 1,500 Kentuckians.”

For more information on the latest coronavirus figures and the Beshear Administration’s response in Kentucky, you can go to kycovid19.ky.gov.

The governor’s next scheduled press briefing is Monday afternoon at 4 p.m., although on Sunday he is expected to send out an update on COVID-19 numbers.

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